- Wahab Hammed, APC ward leader in unit F3 Surulere in Lagos, the constituency of Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff to President Bola Tinubu, has been sentenced for vote buying
- The EFCC to the Lagos state high court that Hammed was arrested while paying voters at polling unit 28 located at Gbaja Girls High School, Surulere, Lagos during February 24 presidential election
- Hammed begged the judge to tamper justice with mercy while confessing to the crime, adding that he had six unemployed children
Legit.ng journalist Bada Yusuf is an accomplished politics and current affairs editor, boasting over seven years of experience in journalism and writing.
Ikeja, Lagos - The All Progressives Congress (APC) ward leader in the Surulere local government area in Lagos, Wahab Hammed, has been sentenced to a one-year jail term or pay a fine of N1 million by the state High Court in Ikeja.
Surulere is the local government and constituency of Femi Gbajabiamila, the chief of staff to President Bola Tinubu and former speaker of the House of Representatives.
According to Channels Television, Justice Ismail Ijelu of the court convicted Hammed on a two-count charge of bribery and conspiracy and subsequently handed him the sentencing.
EFCC Arraigns APC Ward leader in Surulere, Gbajabiamila's constituency
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, December 6, arraigned Hammed on the two count charge, which he pleaded guilty to. The court then ordered that he should be remanded in the EFCC's custody till it took its decision on Thursday, December 7.
Samuel Daji, the counsel to the EFCC told the court that during the February 25 presidential elections, the commission intelligence that some individuals are engaging in vote buying and bribery at polling unit 28 located at Gbaja Girls High School, Surulere, Lagos.
The lawyer said the EFCC dispatched its team to the polling unit and Hammed was arrested while sharing money to bribe the voters for his party, APC.
According to the counsel to the EFCC, the voters ran away after citing the men of the operative and Hammed was arrested with the sum of N121,000 in the N500 denomination.
APC Ward leader pleaded for leniency
Daji told the court that during the interrogation, Hammed confessed that he was the ward leader of the APC in unit F3 Surulere in Lagos and that the money was given to him by one Seun Ijitola, a senior special assistant to the chairman of the Surulere Local Government.
According to him, the APC leader confessed that he had bribed some people before his arrest by the anti-graft agency.
Speaking before the court, the 70-year-old defendant begged the judge to tamper justice with mercy in his sentencing because he was suffering from hypertension and ulcer. He added that he had six unemployed children.
APC chieftain sentenced for vote buying
In his judgment, Justice Ijelu noted that the defendant appeared remorseful but the gravity of the crime he had committed was significant and the Nigeria's electoral system needed to be sanitize.
The court added that Section 121(1)(a) and (5) of the Electoral Act, 2022 prescribes five hundred thousand naira as fine or a jail term of twelve months or both, from acts of bribery and conspiracy.
“The defendant is a first time offender and no aggravating factor is found against him. Having made a guilty plea, Imposing a non-custodial sentence may deter him from future misconduct.”
Speaking on the development, Ismail Balogun, a legal practition, while speaking with Legit.ng, commended the court judgment, adding that more electoral offenders should be prosecuted and the system should be continuously reformed.
The lawyer said:
"The judgment is a welcome development and the INEC, EFCC and other relevant agencies need to ensure more electoral offenders are brought to the court for prosecution. There is need to sanitise our electoral system."
Full List: PDP, 6 others political parties that plot against APC, Tinubu
Legit.ng earlier reported that the APC has been sent a covert message of tough days ahead of it as the PDP, NNPP, and five other political parties formed a movement.
The development is coming nearly one month after Atiku Abubakar called on opposition parties to come together and rescue Nigeria from sliding into a one-party state.
According to the SDP chairman, Shehu Gabam, after the meeting, told journalists that what happened was not a merger.
PAY ATTENTION: Donate to Legit Charity on Patreon. Your support matters!